The “release point” is the exact position of a pitcher’s throwing hand when a pitcher releases the ball to throw it the most effectively. Every pitcher has a different release point. You should know where your personal release point is. The release point is an extremely important part of pitching. A professional pitching coach told me back in 2004 that the release point is everything to a pitcher! If the release point is off a hair to the right, you’ll miss your catcher’s target to the right. If it’s off to the left, you’ll miss to the left. If it’s too early, you’ll miss high. If it’s too late, you’ll miss low.
Don’t get frustrated when you “lose” your release point. And you will lose your release point now and then because every pitcher does. It can be a very frustrating part of pitching. Simply try your best to maintain yours and when you lose it, hang in there and remember two things. One is that it happens to ALL pitchers and the other thing is that you will find it again. It’s identical to a very successful hitter that goes into a hitting slump. Just don’t get discouraged and be ready when it happens and you’ll be fine because you will rediscover it. You may very well be wondering where YOUR natural point of release is. Here is a very good way to find where yours is. Have someone that’s VERY DEPENDABLE watch you closely. Go in the infield and position yourself where a shortstop would field a grounder deep in the hole. Pretend that you have just fielded a grounder hit deep in the hole. Pretend you are throwing a runner out at first base and make the long throw to first base. Do NOT put alot of thinking into this because you want to find out where your NATURAL release point is. The key word here is NATURAL! Make about a half dozen throws from deep in the hole to first base. The person watching you should be able to tell you where your natural point of release is. You may see it yourself but usually someone else can see it better. Be very selective as to who you pick to watch your throws to first base.
Possible Reasons For Your Release Point Being Off:
It is a very common problem for pitchers to have their body too far ahead of their throwing arm and then either the arm has to rush to catch up to the body or the arm will be too far behind. This will cause many problems, one of them definitely being your release point may be off. Pause briefly on the rubber in the middle of the windup before starting forward to discourage this. It can be the pitcher’s mound itself. It can be a mound that’s very unfamiliar or uncomfortable to you.
Maybe the rubber area where you pivot has too large a hole in front of the rubber where you are pivoting. Maybe your landing foot is going into a deep hole. Maybe the slope of the mound is much too steep or not nearly steep enough, thus severely disrupting your timing and balance. You may be winding up and delivering the ball faster than usual. If you’re struggling in a game, you may be rushing and trying too hard. The opposite may also be true. You may be winding up and delivering slower than usual because you may be struggling with the control of your pitches and are “aiming” your pitches instead of “throwing” your pitches.